This plan contains suggestions for safety. Following these suggestions is not a guarantee of
safety, but applying them to your own situation could improve your level of safety in an
abusive relationship. You may be able to complete a more detailed, specific safety plan with
a local domestic violence advocate.
Safety While in an Abusive Relationship
• If weapons are kept in your home, try to hide guns, ammunition, knives, and any other
weapons, unless hiding the weapons would further jeopardize your safety. If this isn’t
possible, try to make them inaccessible.
• Think about your home; identify the areas that are easiest to escape from and are
free of potential weapons. Try to move to those areas during an argument. Avoid
going to rooms like the kitchen where there are knives and other potential weapons
and the bathroom that has hard surfaces and most likely doesn’t have a second exit.
• Try to have a phone accessible at all times. Consider hiding a prepaid cell phone to
use in emergencies.
• Create a code word with friends and family in order to communicate to them that you
• If an abusive incident seems imminent, trust your judgment. Sometimes it is best to
leave; sometimes it is best to placate the abuser.
• Make a habit of backing your car into the driveway. Try to always have some gas.
Keep the driver’s door unlocked and lock all other doors. Have a copy of the car key
made and hide one in the car.
• If leaving is not possible:
o Try to move into safe areas of your home.
o Make yourself physically smaller by curling into a ball and covering your
head and face with your hands.
Safety While Preparing to Leave an Abusive Relationship
• Be aware that cellular phones can contain GPS tracking devices. If possible, plan to
get a new phone and new service plan when you leave, and leave your original
• Know that leaving an abusive relationship can be the most dangerous time for you.
• Try to set aside money, even in small amounts. Start your own savings or checking
account. Use the address of a trusted friend or family member when setting up the
• Keep a written list of important phone numbers with you.
• Have a packed bag ready. Keep it hidden in your home or leave the bag with
friends, family, or at work if possible.
• Items and documents to take:
o Birth and marriage certificates
o ID and Social Security Cards
o School and Medical Records